Note: This is a long “post”. This is a personal reflection that you may or may not find useful. This post is also a recent added chapter to the book I am writing. Enjoy.
It seemed TOTALLY impulsive when I first did it. Sometimes I feel inspired to do something “crazy” and then I figure out later why I was so inspired. Sometimes I know I am just afraid and it is necessary for me to take the leap and go with my intuition and then observe all the opportunity for learning that comes from a seeming impulse . . .later”
I believe, when we are children, there is a LOT of compliance . . . a LOT of control – some veiled as “guidance”, and a whole bunch of “what not to do”. I believe it is where we develop 100% of the fears we battle later in life – childhood. I believe we don’t really learn anything about living a human experience until we reach our twenties and are out the door, trying to figure it out. It does seem to be the convention of a life path right?!?!
As young adults, many of us are tentative about our choices because we are still waiting for a parent to give the go ahead or deliver the 2 minute penalty on the play (you have to love hockey to get that, and I do).
As full-grown adults, some us spend years in therapy, personal growth courses, and reading self-help books . . . all in an effort to finally own our choices and our power and our life.
How did I come up with this hypothesis? I’ve lived it and dare I say, so have many people I know.
I remember when I lived in my first apartment with a boyfriend. There were some “penalties” on that play, from my dad.
When I wanted to rip up the carpet and paint the walls in that first apartment, I thought my boyfriend was going to have a nervous breakdown. Years later we were married and when we moved in to our first bank-owned home, I said “let’s rip out the kitchen” – he did have a nervous breakdown.
And, it’s not as if I wasn’t scared myself – I was just more practiced at pushing the boundaries of the parent approved actions.
The first time I dyed my hair, something that wasn’t “normal”, was when my son was playing hockey. The team was in the midst of a winning time during a tournament and I told him, if he kept scoring and the team won the tourney, I’d dye my hair blue – the team color.
He did . . . they did . . . and true to my word, I dyed my hair blue. It was an epic fail and eventually went from gun metal gray, to green and it cost me a pretty penny to get it fixed.
Some years later, I put streaks of purple in my hair. It was subtle and no one really noticed much.
In 2011, I went all purple . . . a really bright, what some called, “insane” purple.
It wasn’t the first time I did something that I perceived to be outrageous and despite my determination to be unfazed by the opinions of others – I thought I might have a nervous break down. I mean, coloring one’s hair ALL purple is a really big deal compared to starting a business as an artist and teacher with no money and no business plan – sheesh – this was huge (said with a large dose of sarcasm).
My purple hair became an example of “adornment with meaning”. I love purple . . . it is a royal color and a color of the highest vibration on the spiritual spectrum. It delights me and reminds of moments that were pivotal to my life.
It was also a symbol of not waiting for anyone to say it was ok to do that. I am a big girl and I can live with my decisions and I am in charge of my life – so there – tongue poking out of mouth.
In 2012, I decided that ALL purple was too much for my new business venture and the new teaching opportunities I was going to embark on . . . maybe too shocking . . . and the new stylist agreed that the more subtle purple was “more professional”.
So I caved to some public “penalties” and wrapped my head around this being a good thing, considering my age and having a business and being more public as a metal clay instructor in college venues . . . right?!?!
It’s fine, my choice (cuz I hear friends shouting at me – really Delia?!?!?)
My purple, subtle streaks were an example of adornment of meaning and a way that I created ease in a classroom and community in my life. Some casual polling of artists in classrooms gave me the parent approval that in fact the purple let them know that I was probably pretty easy going and fun to work with. Mission accomplished.
A few weeks ago, a friend who is thriving through breast cancer treatment, posted a photo on Facebook of her very short hair. Eve had decided to keep her hair short, as a symbol of not only her own courage, but the courage she had experienced of others and in honor of another friend who had recently transitioned.
Not only did she keep her hair very short, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, she had a ribbon carved into her hair and made it pink!
Not to be a jerk or anything, I said I was thinking of doing that. At the time I thought . . . . because it had been so hot and because to me, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is ALL Cancer Awareness Month. Both my sister and mother transitioned due to cancer.
I immediately thought, after saying I was thinking of doing that . . . that I’d be a jerksauce to shave my hair short, like I was a cancer survivor or something and OMZ, what would people think and people would be shocked and awed . . . again….after the ALL purple episode.
The following Sunday, I found the electric razor, theoretically for dogs, and set it in the bathroom. Monday, without a lot of forethought, I told my daughter I was going to have far less hair when she came home . . . and she was all “yeah right”.
I dropped her off, got home, went directly into the bathroom, hoped I had picked the right attachment, and shaved my head to about a .25 – .5 inch off my scalp. And I still was not clear WHY I had felt compelled to do such a thing. I did know, that had I not done it that very moment, I never would have. I would have chickened out.
It felt UHMAZING, EXHILIRATING, FREEING and DEELITEFULL.
My immediate attachments to this action were: it’s cooler, less hair product, yes I do support my sisters pushing against cancer, I do acknowledge and honor my mother and my sister, and I need a reminder of what a poor choice smoking is.
Another thing that came up was: what defines feminine?
All of that is very valid and true.
The really truth? I cut my hair off because I could. I cut my hair off because I was done being afraid of what any one will think. I AM SO DONE BEING AFRAID OF WHAT OTHER’S WILL THINK OF ME.
I am growing up, everyday. I am a big girl, doing big girl things (no tongue poking out). While I do not handle all things with perfection . . . nor all things with grace . . . I am making it happen. More important than any ego-centered fear, I am being of service to those that would like to play with me. I am living a life I choose and moving in and out of what happens that I do not choose, with as much love and grace as possible.
So let me hear it. What is your “hair” story?
Make something everyday, even if it’s trouble.
Much love and light,
PS. The Really Truth reference comes from a story I heard a very long time ago. ‘A woman is in front of her dressing mirror. She and her husband are getting ready to go out for the evening to celebrate their anniversary. The woman catches her husband looking at her from the reflection of her dressing mirror. It’s suddenly a quiet, intimate moment. She turns to him and says, “Husband, do you love me?” He replies quickly, “Yes, of course.” She then asks him, “Husband, are you having an affair?” Less quickly and looking more thoughtful, he replies “Why no. Are you?”
A smile appears on her face. “Do you want to know the truth, or the REALLY truth?” The husband looked confused, “Just tell me the truth.” She replies “No, I am not having an affair.” He feels satisfied with this.
Moments later, they are ready to leave. The husband looks at his wife, enjoying her beauty, then he says “Darling, what did you mean by ‘truth and really truth’?”
“Well my dear, I told you the truth. Had you wanted to know the really truth, I would have said: Not anymore.”